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AIS • POCKET LIBRARY' OF GREAT ART 



950 



ABOUT THIS BOOK 

This book is in effect a "guided 
tour" through the works of Camille 
Pissarro, one of the greatest and 
most beloved of the French Im- 
pressionists. In more than thirty 
pages of full color you will find 
his tender and moving paintings 
of the French countryside in all its 
abundance and beauty, of peasants 
at work, of the artist and his 
family. Pissarro's drawings, pas- 
tels, and etchings are reproduced 
in over twenty pages of black-and- 
white illustrations. The text for 
this volume is by John Rewald, 
author of The History of Impres- 
sionism and a leading authority 
on later nineteenth-century art. 

The Pocket Library of Great 
Art will ultimately constitute the 
most remarkable collection of art- 
in-reproduction ever published. 
Each new volume, as it presents 
the life-enriching values which 
art can give, will bring you closer 
to that comprehensive knowledge 
of the great masters which all 
cultured people would like to 
have. 

SEE BACK FLAP FOR 
PRArSE FROM CRITICS 







Property of 
The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 



THE POCKET LIBRARY OF GREAT ART 




'^•- if 



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Plate I. SELF-PORTRAIT. 1888. Ink. Neil' York Public Library 



CAMILLE 



PISSARRO 

(18 30-1903) 

text by 
JOHN REWALD 




published by HARRY N. ABRAMS, INC., tn association 
with POCKET BOOKS, INC., New York, 



To the memory of 

RODO PiSSARRO 



On the cover 

detail of THE road to Versailles in louveciennes 

{see plate lo) 



Copyright 1934 by Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated. Copyright 
in the United States and foreign countries under International 
Copyright Convention. All rights reserved under Pan-American 
Convention. No part of the contents of this book may be repro- 
duced without the written permission of Harry N. Abrams, 
Incorporated. Printed in U.S.A. MILTON S. FOX, Editor 



I 



Alb- 




Plate 2. RUE ST. VINCENT, MONTMARTRE. i860. Chalk 

Private collection, New York 



(^ ,?/SS(irr£>. 



Camille Pissarro was the dean of the Impressionists, 
not only by virtue of his age but also by virtue of his 
wise, balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality. 
While he had no ambition to be a leader and actually 
was careful to avoid playing such a role, he seems to 
have been the only one who, during quarrels or mis- 
understandings, was able to rise above resentments, 
prejudices, or hurt pride to think solely of the goal 
he and his friends were pursuing: the development 
of a personal style, the assertion of their freedom of 



expression. But he would not have exerted so benevo- 
lent an influence had he not also been a great and 
modest artist whom all the others respected and ad- 
mired. 

The course of Pissarro's development was a com- 
paratively simple one. In 1855, when he was twenty- 
five years old, he left his home at St. Thomas in the 
Virgin Islands (then Danish) to return to Paris, 
where he had gone to school, and there devote him- 
self to art. He chose Corot as his master, and his early 
paintings reveal the influence of that artist's poetic 
and gentle landscapes. But the vigor and forceful 
execution of Courbet also left their traces in the work 
of the beginner. 

After 1859, Pissarro tried with more or less luck 
to show his landscapes at the Salon, and in 1863 he 
participated in the famous Salon des Refuses, to- 
gether with Manet, Whistler, Cezanne, and many 
others. Five years later he sent to the Salon The Her- 
mitage near Pontoise, a view which had been painted 
entirely in the open. This practice was then still vir- 
tually unknown among landscapists, who generally 
executed only their preparatory sketches directly from 
nature. Pissarro subsequently tried to persuade his 
friends, Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Sisley, and Guil- 
laumin (all of whom were about ten years younger 
than he), to paint outdoors if they hadn't already 
done so. 

Camille Pissarro was not one of those who keep a 
jealous watch over everything they discover. On the 
contrary, it gave him unlimited pleasure to let others 
share in his own experience. He was deeply con- 
vinced that knowledge acquired by the individual be- 




Plate 3. THE ARTISTS DAUGHTER. Ahout i8j2. Gouactoe 
Collection Erich Mar/a Remarque, New York 




Plate 4. left: portrait of gauguin by Pissarro. right: portrait 01 






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O b) Gauguin. i88^. Pencil. The Louvre, Paris 



longed to the community, and he tried all his life to 
put this generous philosophy into practice. Thus he 
was able to exert a decisive influence on men like 
Cezanne and, later, Gauguin. His innate pedagogical 
gifts expressed themselves on every occasion with 
such soft insistence and perfect clarity that Mary Cas- 
satt once exclaimed: "He was so much a teacher that 
he could have taught stones how to draw correctly." 

By 1870, when the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian 
war drove Pissarro from his home in Louveciennes, 
his artistic personality was already fully formed. His 
work was remarkable for its restfulness, confidence, 
originality, firmness, and delicacy of observation. It 
combines the sensitiveness of Corot with a quite per- 
sonal feeling for color, and it often allies the broad 
concepts of Courbet with the rural simplicity of Mil- 
let. Free from any literary element, his strong yet re- 
strained work excels that of the Barbizon School in 
its direct and genuine observation of nature. 

While the Prussians occupied his house in Louve- 
ciennes and destroyed most of his paintings there, 
Pissarro fled with his family to London. There he 
soon met Monet, and both of them were introduced 
to Durand-Ruel, who was to become their dealer, and 
whose name and fate were to be linked inseparably 
with the Impressionists. In London, Pissarro and 
Monet studied the works of the English landscapists, 
particularly those of Turner, and derived valuable in- 
sights from them. Both achieved a looser technique 
and a greater lightness of color, and rid themselves 
of a certain opaqueness that was still noticeable in 
some of their paintings. 

On his return to France in 1871, Pissarro settled 



,y-^ 




Plate ^. WOMAN SPINNING. About i88^. Pencil 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. William B. ]affe, New York 



in Pontoise. There he was to remain for ten years, 
and many of his friends came to join him and work 
with him. Pissarro's own paintings of those years are 
distinguished by a particular freshness of feeling and 
execution. But neither he nor his comrades succeeded 
in having their works accepted by the jury of the 
Salon, which scorned their bright colors, their uncon- 
ventional technique, and their lack of rigid contours. 
Thus, unable to bring before the public's eye what 
they were doing, or to sell their paintings, Pissarro, 
Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Cezanne, Degas, Guillaumin, 
and several others resolved in 1874 to hold their own 
exhibition. Pissarro was instrumental in organizing 
this show, just as he was instrumental in preparing 
the seven others of the group which were to take 
place up to 1886. It was during their first show that 
a critic derisively called the painters "Impressionists"; 
this name was to stick, and the group itself soon 
adopted it, since it was neither better nor worse than 
any other. 

While the Impressionist exhibitions attracted at- 
tention, they did not succeed in convincing the public 
that here was an art that would some day outshine 
anything else that was then being done in France. 
The consequence was that Pissarro and his friends 
went through years of poverty and struggle; yet some- 
how they never lost faith and were able, in their 
works, to forget their troubles while depicting the 
beauties of nature. 

Shortly after settling in Eragny in a house which 
he was eventually to buy with Monet's help, Pissarro, 
in 1885, met young Paul Signac and, through him, 
Georges Seurat. His capacity for enthusiasm and re- 





Plate 6. STANDING GIRL. Aboiit 1890 
Pastel. Kunsthalle, Hamburg 



sponse soon made him adopt their technique of paint- 
ing in tiny dots of pure color (which they called 
"Divisionism" ) , and for a while he and his eldest son 
Lucien joined the ranks of the Neo-Impressionists. 
Pissarro abandoned this technique, however, when 
the scientific aspect of Seurat's theories began to force 
concessions on him and he felt his free expression re- 
stricted by its unyielding rules. Even so, the result of 
this experiment w^as a lightness of color which con- 
stitutes the charm of his later work. 

In the 1890s eye trouble caused Pissarro increasing 
difficulty when painting in the open and forced him 
to work from behind closed windows. He regularly 
spent part of the year in Paris, where he frequently 
changed his place of residence in order to paint the 
various aspects of the city from the windows of suc- 
cessive apartments. Nothing in these late canvases 
betrays the aging and suffering artist, the man w^ho 
has known need and scorn for many years. Every- 
thing is fresh, painted with such enthusiasm, opti- 
mism, and youthfulness that it inspires veneration. 
The painter himself considered some of his last 
works the best he had ever done. 

He suffered a stroke in the fall of 1903 w^hile mov- 
ing into a new apartment from which he hoped to 
explore further aspects of Paris, and he died peace- 
fully at the age of seventy-three. In Aix three years 
later, shortly before his own death, Cezanne remem- 
bered an old debt of gratitude and had printed in an 
exhibition catalogue the mention: Patd Cezanne, 
pupil of Pissarro. 







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Plate 7. PEASANT GIRL. About 188^. Pencil 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Alex Lewyt, New York 




Plate 8. PORTRAIT OF CEZANNE. About 1874 
Pencil. The Louvre, Paris 



COLOR PLATES 



PLATE 9 

STREET IN PONTOISE 

Painted i86y. 12Y4 x 17 V4" 
Private collection, Neiv York 

In quest of outdoor effects, the painters of the Barbizon 
School — Corot, Theodore Rousseau, and others — had 
taken their sketch pads and set up their easels in the 
meadows, forests, and valleys around Paris. Soon they 
began to be attracted by man-made landscapes as well — 
views of cities and their more or less animated streets. 
Corot and Jongkind were the forerunners here. 

Pissarro's early street scenes — the first to be painted 
directly out-of-doors — were not done in large cities, 
however, but depict aspects of those rural and idyllic 
small towns along the meandering Seine River between 
Paris and Rouen. Pontoise; where he was to settle down 
a little later, was one of his favorite places. In subtle 
tones, but still with a heavy impasto, he has painted 
here a quiet yet powerful work, which combines the 
influences of Corot and Courbet with the promises of 
his own genius. 



PLATE 10 

THE ROAD TO VERSAILLES 
IN LOUVECIENNES 

Painted 1870. 39V2 x 32" 
Courtesy Air. Em'tl Btdhrle. Zurich 

The scene is the small garden of the artist's house in 
Louveciennes, bordering the road to Versailles. At the 
left appear his wife, her maid, and one of his children. 
The brush strokes are no longer as sweeping as they had 
been in earlier canvases. Continuous work in the open 
had prompted Pissarro (and others of his circle as well) 
to adopt a technique of small strokes and hatchings 
which enabled him to record more faithfully the texture 
of leaves and flowers, and especially the play of light 
and shadow in all its vibrant liveliness. In the dress of 
his wife, however, large strokes still prevail. Thus this 
painting, while not yet very colorful, represents an im- 
portant step in his evolution toward Impressionism. 










I 




Plafe II. PATH AT PONTOISE 




(commentary follows color plate section) 



*v,v 




Plate 12. THE ROAD TO SAINT-GERMAIN IN LOUVECIENNES 




(commentary j allows color plate section^ 




s. <^ 






Pl.l/e I Jj. THE ROAD TO ROCQUENCOURT 




{commentary follows color plate section) 



PLATE 14 

PORTRAIT OF JEANNE 

Painted 1872. 28V4 x 23y8" 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Otto L. Spaeth, New York 

Pissarro very seldom painted portraits, and actually it 
seems unlikely that he would ever have accepted a por- 
trait commission had he received one. The few like- 
nesses that he did were of his own family, of close 
friends, or of some of the peasants he knew well (see 
plate 25). Among these, the portrait of his little daugh- 
ter Jeanne stands out, for it is the first "close-up" he 
did. The child was seven years old when he painted 
her. In this exquisite portrait, softness of color is com- 
bined with a tenderness that makes one think of Corot, 
who also did some lovely portraits of children. But over 
the charming rendition, which so touchingly reveals the 
painter's feeling for his young sitter, there hovers a 
slight note of sadness. It is as if Pissarro had a fore- 
boding that two years after she sat for him, little Jeanne 
was to die. 



LIFT FOLD FOR E NT IRK PAINTING ► 

DETAIL AT RIGHT 



PLATES 15 & 16 

CHESTNUT TREES 
AT LOUVECIENNES 

Painted 1872. iGVg x 21V4" 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Alex Leuyt, New York 

If serenity has now become an essential part of Pis- 
sarro's art, it is often coupled with vigor, as in this 
autumnal landscape of Louveciennes. 

Owing to the influence of the English painters, par- 
ticularly Constable and Turner, as well as to his own 
constant observation of nature, Pissarro by now had 
adopted a much lighter palette, and had already suc- 
ceeded in capturing in his landscapes a new element — 
light. In spite of heavy layers of pigment, and brush 
strokes that are still rather broad and sweeping, air now 
circulates among the massive tree trunks. But here 
the atmosphere does not become merely the pretext for 
the canvas nor does it suppress the modeling of the 
objects, as was later to be the case in the work of 
Monet. 



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PLATE 17 

BOUQUET OF ROSES 

Painted about 1873. ^^Vs "< i^Vg" 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Eduin C. Vogel. Neu York 

On rainy days, when they could not work out-of- 
doors, the Impressionists painted in their studios, doing 
mostly portraits, nudes, or still lifes. Pissarro, on those 
occasions, seems to have particularly favored flowers. 
The blossoms assembled in this small white porcelain 
vase were arranged with considerable care. The artist 
apparently sought for the most delicate nuances rather 
than for bright and dominant tones. Subtle gradations, 
pinks, whites, and reds, set against a warm gray back- 
ground, transform this bouquet into a lovely and in- 
timate poem. Not so flamboyant as Renoir's flowers nor 
so solid as Cezanne's fruits, this little bouquet has a 
gentle charm seldom equalled by Pissarro himself. 



PLATE l8 

SELF-PORTRAIT 

Painted 1873. ^iVg x iSVg' 
The Louvre, Parts 

Among the small number of portraits by Pissarro there 
exist few likenesses of the artist himself. This Self- 
Portrait is the earliest in date of the four which he 
painted (unless there were others among the canvases 
destroyed by the Prussians in 1870). The artist was 
forty-three years old; his head was already balding, 
and his ample beard had begun to gray, giving him a 
somewhat older appearance. His expression is grave yet 
mild; life had not been easy for him. His wife had 
borne him several children, some of whom had 
died in infancy, and the struggle to support his family 
through his art was an unending one. 

"Pissarro looked like Abraham," George Moore later 
recalled; and there was, indeed, a biblical majesty about 
him that appears even in this portrait, though it was 
done without any intentional "posing" on the part of 
the artist. With great honesty he has scrutinized his fea- 
tures — those of a noble, wise, and warm human being. 



,^' ,• >■ ^.*^- 





Plate 19. STREET IN PONTOISE. WINTER 




{commentary follotts color plate section) 



PLATE 20 

AUTUMN IN MONTFOUCAULT 

Painted i8y6. 43V2 >^ 4^' 

Courtesy Paul Rosenberg and Company, New York 

In his later years Pissarro once said that he was tired of 
the eternal "greenness" of summer landscapes and much 
preferred the seasons of spring and particularly au- 
tumn. To a man who lived so much in the open, the 
change from summer to fall — sometimes slow, some- 
times sudden — was a never-ceasing source of wonder. 
But the fiery colorations of autumn leaves also provided 
the painter with a challenge that was not always easy 
to meet. 

Avoiding the too spectacular, "picture postcard" 
aspect of fall, Pissarro has here presented a somewhat 
quiet autumn landscape. The warm colors of the trees 
are balanced by the dark masses of peasant women and 
their cattle, while the waters of a brook mute the ex- 
travagances of the fall foliage they reflect. 

Montfoucault was one of the small villages where m 

the artist often went to paint in the company of his ~ 

friend Ludovic Piette. 



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LIFT FOLD FOR ENTIRE PAINTING ^ 

DET A I L AT RIGHT w 



PLATES2I&22 

THE HARVEST, MONTFOUCAULT 

Painted 1876. 2^V2 x 36V4" 
The Louvre. Paris 

This canvas occupies a place apart among the land- 
scapes of Camille Pissarro. Although by 1876 the artist 
had largely adopted the Impressionist technique of 
small hatchings, this painting is done in a broad man- 
ner, solid and yet light. Thus the wheatfield and the 
trees against the mottled sky appear to be strongly 
modeled, and Pissarro's characteristic delicacy is re- 
placed by an almost monumental conception. 

This new note in his work reveals the wealth of Pis- 
sarro's genius and potentialities. At the very moment 
when critics were saying that his paintings shown in 
the first Impressionist exhibitions resembled "palette 
scrapings uniformly put on a dirty canvas," the artist, 
with a magnificent unconcern for the public's lack of 
comprehension, produced this joyous fugue. If he had 
left nothing but this canvas, Pissarro would still occupy 
a place among the great landscape painters from Rem- 
brandt to Van Gogh. 



1 






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PLATE 23 

CHILD ON A HOBBYHORSE 

Painted 187^. 21 Ys x iSYs" 
Collection Paul-Louis Weiller, Paris 

An essential tenet of Impressionism was, of course, to 
free the artists from the yoke of preconceived ideas or 
dead traditions, in order to help them attain an indi- 
vidual expression through steady contact with nature. 
But since they were all close friends and frequently 
worked side by side, they occasionally produced can- 
vases which were so typically Impressionist that one or 
another member of the group might have painted them. 
This picture of Pissarro's son in his garden is one of 
those rare instances, for in color, execution, and com- 
position it closely resembles works done at about the 
same time by Renoir or Monet. This was the very mo- 
ment — around 1875 — when the Impressionists were 
fighting their hardest battle for recognition, but were 
still far from convincing the general public of the merit 
of their qualities: instantaneous expression, bright col- 
ors, and vibrant brush strokes that captured the play 
of light. These qualities seem particularly well illus- 
trated by this little-known canvas. 



PLATE 24 

STREET SCENE IN PONTOISE 

Painted i8jc). i4y4 x 18" 
Wildenstein and Company, Nen York 

In spite of his fondness for fall and winter landscapes, 
the glories of bright summer light never lost their at- 
traction for Pissarro, or for any of the other Impres- 
sionists. For all of them, the sun remained the supreme 
master, lengthening or shortening shadows, stressing 
or hiding forms, brightening or softening colors. This 
sun-drenched Street Scene in Pontoise is typical of Pis- 
sarro's summer landscapes: here are the small houses 
with their gardens, trees, soft hills in the background, 
horse-drawn carts, a peasant woman of the kind that 
appears in so many of his canvases, and above the 
whole scene the blue sky of a summer day. All this is 
observed with a loving eye that transforms what might 
have appeared banal to others into a poem in praise of 
peace and quiet living. 



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PLATE 25 

LA MERE LARCHEVEQUE 

Painted 1880. 28 V4 x 23y8" 

Collection Nate B. Spin gold, New York 

Pissarro liked to say that while Millet was a "Biblical" 
painter, he himself was a more rustic one. Indeed, there 
is frequently a sentimental quality about Millet's peas- 
ants which is completely absent from similar works by 
Pissarro. Even in spite of this sentimental appeal. Millet 
had had difficulty in winning acceptance for them. By 
1880, however, five years after his death, his work was 
universally recognized and brought extravagantly high 
prices. 

Pissarro now went one step further and painted peas- 
ants without glamorizing them. An admirable example 
is this canvas, where a peasant woman, one of his 
neighbors, is portrayed without any grandiloquence. As 
she sits at ease against a plain background, the artist 
has painted her face, her dress, and the scarf around 
her head with his eye concentrated on color, texture, and 
the accidents of light and shadow. The result is a strik- 
ing likeness of power and simplicity. 



LIFT FOLD FOR E N T I R F P A I N T I N G 
DETAIL AT RIGHT 



PLATES 26 & 27 

CHAPONVAL LANDSCAPE 

Painted 1880. 21V4 a" 2^V2" 
The Louvre, Paris 

The region around Pontoise supplied Pissarro with a 
large number and variety of motifs. The Pente des 
Choux with its vegetable gardens, the banks of the 
Oise River with chimneys, factories, and boats, the 
slopes of Valhermeil with their tilled fields, the Hermi- 
tage with its chateau behind thick foliage, the road to 
Auvers with its fruit trees — all this never ceased to at- 
tract the artist. He would often place his easel in the 
fields or meadows so that their yellow and green might 
make the slate or tiled roofs of the little houses appear 
all the more brilliant. The blue sky with clouds float- 
ing above the hillocks helps to give to this beautiful 
country its aspect of smiling abundance. No modern 
landscape painter was so fond as Pissarro of this type 
of "peasant landscape," in which the tilled earth, the 
cattle, and the poultry-yard bear witness to the presence 
of man and his work. 



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1. IF! FOLD I OR rNIIRK PAINT INC. ^ 

PET A I L AT R 1 C H 1 



PLATES 28 & 29 

BATHER IN THE WOODS 

Painted 1893. 23y8 x 28%" 

The Aietropolitan Museum of Art. Neu York 

Pissarro painted very few nudes. In the small towns 
where he lived, it was impossible for him to find 
models, and even if he had been fortunate enough to do 
so, he would most certainly not have been able to let 
them pose in the open. The nude figures that he painted 
bathing outdoors, singly or in groups, therefore had to 
be done mostly from imagination. There exist, however, 
from the same year, two paintings of a girl washing 
her feet near a brook, and another of a clothed peasant 
girl seated in Pissarro's studio; in these, the poses are 
very similar to that of this nude bather. 

Like his friend Pissarro, Cezanne also dreamed of 
painting nudes out-of-doors, yet he too had to execute 
his famous compositions of bathers in his studio, and 
mostly without models. 













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PLATE 30 

THE APPLE, PICKERS 

Painted 1881. 2^y8 x 21V4" 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. William B. Jaffe. New York 

Placing their models under trees so that they were 
dappled with spots of light falling through the foliage, 
Renoir and Monet had already studied the strange ef- 
fects of green reflections and luminous speckles on 
faces and dresses. Their models thus became merely 
another means for observing and representing curious 
and momentary effects of light and shadow, which 
partly dissolve forms and offer the gay and capricious 
spectacle of dancing sunbeams. 

In this and a few other canvases, Pissarro has fol- 
lowed a similar course. His appealing composition, es- 
tablished with the care he always took to integrate 
groups of figures harmoniously, is sprinkled with blue 
shadows. These, however, are more discreet than is 
usually the case in Monet's or Renoir's canvases and 
therefore do not detract from the landscape and the 
apple pickers. 



PLATE 31 

MARKET IN PONTOISE 

Painted 1882. ^iVh -v 2^^/V' 

Collectioji Siegfried Krarnarsky. Neu York 

In spite of Pissarro's preoccupation with landscape, 
there was one scene that he never tired of observing — 
the market in small villages and towns. He made in- 
numerable drawings of peasants offering their produce, 
of butchers, grocers, and other merchants selling their 
wares, of women buying or chatting. The animation of 
this aspect of country life always attracted the painter. 
Out of these many sketches made on the spot came this 
large gouache with its colorful crowd. Some of the 
figures are familiar to us from other paintings by Pis- 
sarro, for example the old man in the lower left corner, 
and the girl at the right — doubtless the artist's niece 
Xini, whom he very often used as a model for out- 
eK)or subjects. 

This lively and harmonious composition is a forerun- 
ner of other scenes of crowds which Pissarro did later 
in Paris. 



m 



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Plate 32. BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS, MORNING SUNLIGHT 




{commentary follows color plate section) 



COMMENTARY FOR COLOR PLATE II 

PATH AT PONTOISE 

Painted i86c^jo. 20 Y2 x 32'' 

Collection iWr. and A\rs. Hugo Dixon, Aiemphis, Tenn. 

The districts where a small town meets its rural surroundings 
provide a challenging subject for an artist who had resolved to 
paint his landscapes exclusively in the open. Here the solid 
masses of houses and church steeples are found in conjunction 
with green shrubbery and wide fields — and over them all, the 
silken ribbon of a sunny sky. It was because Pontoise was rich 
in such combinations that Pissarro so much liked to work there. 
It must have been with deep excitement that, in those early days 
of his career, the artist daily discovered new means with which 
to record on canvas the beauty of a fleeting moment. 

COMMENTARY FOR COLOR PLATE 12 

THE ROAD TO SAINT-GERMAIN 
IN LOUVECIENNES 

Painted 1870. i^ x 18". A. and R. Ball, New York 

This picture, painted in Louveciennes shortly before the Franco- 
Prussian war drove Pissarro from his home there, is representa- 
tive of his style before Impressionism. It already displays the 
gravity and calm, the richness of gradations, and the delicate 
sensibility so characteristic of his later works. It is understand- 
able that Cezanne should have wished to see Pissarro continue 
to paint in exactly this manner, which he found so full of vivid 
beauty and poetry. 

COMMENTARY FOR COLOR PLATE 13 

THE ROAD TO ROCQUENCOURT 

Painted 1871. 20 V4 x 30 V2" 
Wildenstein and Company, New York 

Painted after Pissarro's return from exile in London, where he 
had studied the works of the English landscapists, this canvas 



seems created as a hymn to homecoming. The sunHt landscape 
radiates cheerfulness. The emotional content is stronger than 
the lyricism of Pissarro's earlier works, because its quiet hut 
glowing confidence attains serenity. 



COMMENTARY FOR COLOR PLATE 19 

STREET IN PONTOISE, WINTER 

Painted 1873. ^3% ^' ^SV/' 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SpauUing Collection) 

Winter scenes always held a special fascination for the Impres- 
sionists, since they presented familiar objects in new shapes and 
colors. The technique of small brush strokes, moreover, seemed 
particularly suited to rendering snow and the multitude of re- 
flections. Sisley, Monet, and Pissarro therefore painted numer- 
ous snow scenes, even though it meant working outdoors in 
bitter cold. In this painting, Pissarro has caught both the calm- 
ness and the animation of a provincial town in midwinter. 



COMMENTARY FOR COLOR PLATE 32 

BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS, 
MORNING SUNLIGHT 

Painted iSgj. 28y4 x 36V4"' National Gallery of Art, Washing- 
ton, D.C. (Chester Dale Collection) 

In 1884 Pissarro had settled in the small village of Eragny-sur- 
Epte, but after some twelve years he grew tired of the all too 
familiar landscape and began to travel. When increasing eye 
trouble prevented him from working outdoors, he began to 
spend winters in Paris. There he successively occupied apart- 
ments with different views of the city and, from behind his win- 
dows, painted the perspectives of streets and animated crowds. 
Each new vista became a challenge, and he set out to explore it 
with enthusiasm as well as with astonishing youthfulness. The 
paintings of his last years reveal a mastery and an optimism 
that only the very great attain toward the end of their lives. 



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/ 



(.■/ 




f 



Plate 33. SEATED PEASANT GIRL. About 188^. Pencil 
Fogg Museum of Art, Cambridge (Sachs Coll.) 



i 




f> 



Plate 34. LITTLE GOOSE GIRL. About 188^ 
Pencil. Private collection, New York 



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L f 



Plate 3^. FAIR AT GISORS. 1 886. Charcoal 
Private collection, New York 










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Plate 36. OLD STREET IN ROUEN. 1898. Charcoal 
Collection Ralph M. Coe, Cleveland 



'p. 



m.ni( 





—f-X 

Plate 37, BASKETS. About 1889. Charcoal 



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Private collection, New York 




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P/d/^ 38. HARVESTING. About 1888. Pencil and ink 



A 




The Louvre, Paris 



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P/^/^ 39- THE artist's wife. 1883. -P^-^^^^ 

Private collection, England 




Plate 40. THE artist's son, rodo. About 1883 

Water color. Collection Ralph Frydberg, New York 




Plate 41. RUE DU GROS HORLOGE, ROUEN. 1 883. Etching 
New York Public Library 




Plaie 42. PEASANTS IN THE FIELD. Aboui 1890. Woodcut by 
Luc'ten Pissarro after a drawing by his father. 
Private collection, New York 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 



1830 Camille Pissarro born of French-Jewish par- 

ents in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. 

1847-55 After schooling in France returns to St. 

Thomas and works in father's dry-goods store. 
Leaves in 1855 to study art in Paris. 

1859-63 Exhibits at Salon and Salon des Refuses. 

Meets Monet, Cezanne. Son Lucien born. 

1869-71 Settles with family in Louveciennes. Flees to 

London during Franco-Prussian War; many 
of his paintings destroyed by the Germans. 

1874 Instrumental in organizing first Impressionist 

group show; only member of the group to par- 
ticipate in all seven subsequent exhibitions. 

1883 First one-man show at Durand-Ruel's. Begins 
correspondence with son Lucien in London. 

1884 Settles definitely in Eragny. 

1885-90 Meets Signac, Seurat, Theo and Vincent van 

Gogh; for a while adopts Neo-Impressionism. 

1897 With Monet, Signac, and others, supports 

Zola in defense of Colonel Dreyfus. 

1898-1900 Works each year in Paris, painting series of 
boulevards from his window. 

1903 Dies in Paris, November 13. 



EXCERPTS FROM PISSARRO'S LETTERS 
TO HIS SON LUCIEN 



Paris. May 4, 1883: "I will calmly tread the path I have 
taken, and try to do my best. At bottom, I have only a 
vague feeling of its rightness or wrongness. I am much 
disturbed by my unpolished and rough execution; I 
should like to develop a smoother technique which, while 
retaining the old fierceness, w^ould be rid of those jarring 
notes which make it difficult to see my canvases clearly 
except when the light falls in front." 

Roue)7, November 20, 1883: "Remember that I have the 
temperament of a peasant, I am melancholy, harsh and 
savage in my works, it is only in the long run that I can 
expect to please . . . but the eye of the passerby is too 
hasty and sees only the surface. Whoever is in a hurry 
will not stop for me." 

Par/s, February ^, 1886: "Your mother believes that busi- 
ness deals can be carried off in style, but does she think 
I enjoy running in the rain and mud, from morning till 
night, without a penny in my pocket, often economizing 
on bus fare when I am weak with fatigue, counting every 
penny for lunch or dinner? I assure you all this is most 
unpleasant — but I want just one thing — to find someone 
who has enough belief in my talent to be willing to help 
me and mine keep alive." 

Paris, Ju/y, 1886: "We [the Impressionists] are a good 
investment, yet nobody seems to have a few thousand 
francs for some half a dozen canvases on which they can 
make a profit! — Strange! And when the paintings begin 
to sell they will come at once — how make paintings to 
order .^ But now not a single friend with enough confi- 
dence in me to lend me enough to keep alive." 



SOME OTHER BOOKS 
ABOUT PISSARRO 

Loys Delteil. Le Peintre-grateur illustre: Vol. 17, Ca- 
mille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley. Auguste Renoir. Paris, 
Delteil, 1923 

Gotthard Jedlicka. Pissarro. Bern, 1950 

Camille Pissarro. Letters to His Son Lucien, edited by- 
John Rewald. New York, Pantheon, 1943 

Ludovic-Rodolphe Pissarro and Lionello Venturi. Ca- 
mille Pissarro, son art, son oeuvre. Paris, Paul Rosen- 
berg, 1939 (A compete catalogue of his paintings, 
pastels, and gouaches, in 2 volumes) 

John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. New York, 
The Museum of Modern Art, 1946 

Adolphe Tabarant. Pissarro. English translation by J. 
Lewes May. London, John Lane, 1925 



ACKNOW^LEDGMEKTS 

In a book of art, it seems particularly fitting to acknouledge 
the work of craftsmen who contribute to its making. The 
color plates were made by Litho-Art, Inc., New York. The 
type was set by Westcott & Thomson, Inc., Philadelphia and 
the lithography is from the presses of The Meehan-Tooker 
Co., Inc., New York. The binding has been done by F. Al. 
Charlton Co., Netf York and the paper was made by P. H. 
Glatfelter Co., Spring Grove. Pa. Our deepest indebtedness 
is to the museums, galleries, and private collectors who graci- 
ously permitted the reproduction of their paintings, draw- 
ings, and etchings. 



N 
kk 

.p67e 

195^ 



Rewald , 
PISSARR 
1954 




gpv^°"^55§S£^ 




TYPICAL ACCLAIM 

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public." HOWARD DEVREE 

Art Critic, New York Times 

"I think it is a real event in the 
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produce these books at such 
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cellent reproductions and intro- 
ductions by people who have some- 
thing important to say." 

ALLAN S. WELLER 

College of Fine and Applied Art 
University of Illinois 



PISS AR RO 

TEXT BY JOHN REWALD 

CAMILLE PISSARRO was the dean of the French hnpres- 
sionists. A great artist, with a gentle, sensiti\ e, and 
unselfish personaHty, he was instrumental in organizing that 
group of painters— among them Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, 
Degas— which was to make such a crucial contribution to art. 
Pissarro actually had little ambition to be a leader, but he 
seems to have been the only one of the group to rise above 
pride or personal interest to think only of their common 
goal: the development of a personal style, the assertion of 
their freedom of expression. 

Born in 1853 at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Pissarro 
came to Paris at the age of twenty-five to become a painter. 
Years of poverty and adversity followed— his paintings were 
scorned by the critics, much of his work was destroyed by 
the invading Germans in 1870, he suffered from increas- 
ingly severe eye trouble. Yet he never lost his capacit)^ for 
enthusiasm and response, his love of nature and the bright 
spectacle of life about him, which he set down on his can- 
vases with unforgettable lightness and loveliness. 

TITLES NOW READY 

Picasso • Rubens • Pissarro • Velazquez 

Modigliani • Rouault • Manet • Gauguin • Dufy 

Cezanne • French Impressionists • Toulouse-Lautrec 

Van Gogh • Rembrandt • Botticelli • El Greco 

Renoir • Matisse • Utrillo • Degas